English castles: a guide by counties / Adrian Pettifer.

  • Woodbridge : Boydell Press 1995
Physical description
xxii, 344 p : ill., map ; 24 cm.
  • 0851156002
  • 0851156002 (hardback : alk. paper)
  • Bibliography: p329-330. - Includes index.
  • Map of Counties -- The Gazetteer -- Bedfordshire -- Berkshire -- Buckinghamshire -- Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire -- Cheshire -- Cornwall -- County Durham -- Cumberland -- Derbyshire -- Devon -- Dorset -- Essex -- Gloucestershire -- Hampshire -- Herefordshire -- Hertfordshire -- Isle of Wight -- Kent -- Lancashire -- Leicestershire and Rutland -- Lincolnshire -- Middlesex -- Norfolk -- Northamptonshire -- Northumberland -- Nottinghamshire -- Oxfordshire -- Scilly Isles -- Shropshire -- Somerset -- Staffordshire -- Suffolk -- Surrey -- Sussex -- Warwickshire -- Westmorland and Furness -- Wiltshire -- Worcestershire -- Yorkshire: East Riding and York -- Yorkshire: North Riding -- Yorkshire: West Riding.
  • Bibliography
  • Führer.
  • Guidebooks.
  • Illustrated
  • text
  • English


  • On a hill above the River Ouse is the historic town of Lewes. After the Norman Conquest this Saxon burgh and a large estate around it were granted to William de Warenne, Chief Justiciar and subsequently Earl of Surrey. He raised a castle on the highest ground and founded England's first Cluniac priory to the south of the town. Lewes Castle is a motte-and-bailey stronghold with the curious feature of two mottes, one at each end of the oval bailey. Only Lincoln can compare with it.
  • It is assumed - but by no means certain - that the smaller Brack's Mount came first, only to be superseded by the larger motte at the west end which is better placed to command the town. Certainly it is the latter which now has a keep but masonry has been found on Brack's Mount as well, so could it be that for some unknown reason the castle was bipolar?
  • The keep crowning the larger motte was a circular shell keep. Only its southern half remains but patches of herringbone masonry suggest an early date, probably no later than the second William de Warenne (d. 1138). The two semi-octagonal flanking towers were added in the late thirteenth century. Much of the curved stretch of curtain between the bailey and the town survives in a ruinous state, again with herringbone masonry.
  • Unfortunately the bailey can no longer be fully appreciated because the town has encroached upon it. A gate tower stood at the foot of the larger motte but only its outer face still stands. In the fourteenth century a short barbican was built in front, terminating in an outer gatehouse which is the best preserved part of the castle. This gatehouse has a machicolated front flanked by circular turrets which project on corbels (one of them has fallen). It was probably built by John, the last of the Warenne earls. On his death in 1347 the Honour of Lewes passed to the Fitzalan earls of Arundel.
  • Lewes Castle fell into decay and the other buildings were ultimately demolished.
  • Lewes had earthwork defences in Saxon times. The right to collect murage was granted for the building of a stone wall in 1266. Significantly this was just two years after the Battle of Lewes, which overspilled into the town after the royal army had been put to flight. The western part of the town wall can still be followed, but it is quite featureless and obscured in parts by later houses. It begins below the castle keep and continues along Pipe Passage to the High Street.
  • One bastion of the West Gate survives concealed behind a house. The wall continues beside Keere Street to the south-west corner of the old circuit.

Summary holdings does not include live availability details. Select a library name for the full Holdings display.

Location of copy Shelfmark Online location Holdings Notes
University of Aberdeen Libraries: Sir Duncan Rice Library, Floor 4 728.81 Pet
University of Birmingham Libraries: Main Library, Collection DA660
Bishop Grosseteste University: Main Collection - Standard Loan 914.20485 PET
University of Bristol Libraries: Arts & Social Sciences Library DA660 PET 7 day loan: vacation loan
British Library: General Reference Collection, St Pancras Reading Rooms YK.1997.b.801
British Library: General Reference Collection, St Pancras Reading Rooms HLR Enq Desk 728.81 [Another copy]
British Library: General Reference Collection, St Pancras Reading Rooms SPHOA HLR Enquiry Desk 728.81 [Another copy]
University of Cambridge Libraries: University Library: Order in Reading Room 9004.c.428
Cardiff University Libraries: Arts & Social Studies Library: 2 week DA660.P3
Durham University Library: Bill Bryson Library, Level 3 728.810942 PET
Durham University Library: Bill Bryson Library, Level 3 728.810942 PET
Durham University Library: Palace Green Library, History of the Book Collection PG 728.810942 PET
Durham University Library: Contact the Bill Bryson Library 728.810942 PET
University of Exeter Library: Forum Library 742.021 PET
University of Glasgow Library: University Library Level 8 Annexe Archaeology D80.C2 PET
Historic England Library: Swindon Library 7.2.2
Institute of Historical Research Library: Institute of Historical Research Library, Floor 1 Wohl - Reference BC.2643/Pet
National Library of Scotland: General Reading Room, Edinburgh (stored onsite) H4.96.387
National Library of Wales / Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru: Contact the National Library of Wales / Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru PRINT 2010 MB 7502
National Museums Scotland Library: West Wing Library - UDC Sequence 71(41)/P
University of Nottingham Libraries: Hallward Library
University of Oxford Libraries: Bodleian Library M96.E10886
University of Oxford Libraries: Kellogg College Library 728.810942 PET
University of Oxford Libraries: Merton College Library: Mob VCP/PET
University of Oxford Libraries: Worcester College Library: Eland Collection 21 f 360/3 (apply staff)
University of St Andrews Library: Main Library DA660.P48
University of St Andrews Library: Main Library DA660.P48
University of St Andrews Library: Mediaeval History, St Mary's College Library DA660.P48
Sheffield Hallam University Library: Adsetts Main Collection 728.81 PE (LEVEL 5)
University of Sheffield Library: Western Bank Library 3B 728.81 (P)
Society of Antiquaries of London Library: Main Library (1st Floor) 23 c
Swansea University Libraries: Singleton Park Library : Main DA660 .P48 2000
Trinity College Dublin Library: Santry Book Repository HL-194- 63
University of Wales Trinity Saint David: Lampeter Campus Library: Main Collection 728.81 PET
UCL Library Services: UCL Institute of Archaeology Library INST ARCH DAA 190 PET
University of York Libraries: University Library: Morrell - Ordinary LB 8.81 PET